• CDC advised NBA to extend suspension
  • Los Angeles Lakers could benefit from the hiatus 
  • The time off could be used by the Lakers to mesh with new players

The NBA initially announced that the league will be suspended for at least 30 days before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a recommendation that says, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, “no events or gatherings should include more than 50 people for the next eight weeks.”

The impact of the extended layoff is now beginning to be felt financially. But while the players have enough to feed themselves during the break, what could be interesting to see is how the expected rust to be displayed when the games resume will reshape the complexion of the league competition-wise.

Few more games are still needed to be played before the Playoffs but the picture of the bracket is pretty much clearer, save for those teams vying for the eighth seed in each conference. For the contenders, especially those above the ladder, remaining as potent as they were prior to the emergency break might be a challenge. But that will not be a cause of concern for the Los Angeles Lakers.

As the best team in the West, the Lakers are most likely to keep the pace they have run all season. And as they try to mesh with the new guys acquired to provide a rather significant lift, the indefinite hiatus could be more of a benefit than a curse for the team. Heck, it is also the best time for LeBron James to recoup and rest his aged legs that kept on logging in high mileage at year 17.

“With James 35 years old and playing in his 17th season on a left groin that still gets sore from time to time stemming from the tear he suffered last season, there's a potential benefit that comes with the time off should the Lakers make a deep playoff run,” Dave McMenamin of ESPN wrote. “Then again, Lakers coach Frank Vogel will have to wait to integrate new pieces Markieff Morris and Dion Waiters. And the Lakers will have to recalibrate the rhythm they were just tapping into.”

Prior to the suspension, the Lakers had come off two impressive victories against the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Clippers who are both top tiers this season. They boast a 49-14 overall record, enough to clinch a spot for the Playoffs.

Anthony Davis LeBron James Lakers
LeBron James #23 is congratulated by Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers after scoring a basket against Memphis Grizzlies during the second half at Staples Center on October 29, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images